You can’t run. You can’t hide. Nicolas and Mary Ryan are dead. You’re no longer Whatever-Your-Name-Is in the twentieth first century. Back then Chinatown wasn’t a Chinese town at all. Centuries ago, Irish immigrants inhabited that part of the neighborhood where the law was basically optional and unsavoriness was especially rampant. Two siblings are murdered and crime fighters are investigating the details. And guess what? You’re the rookie cop who’s going to take the murderer down. You’re rushed out of a dimly lit basement and into the bustling Manhattan streets to gather evidence. It’s not hard to spot them. A landlord’s wife is carrying a pail and wearing an apron in the midst of indistinguishable crowds. You’ll question a prostitute for eyewitness testimony and interrogate the landlord about what he really knows. Courtesy of Live IN Theatre and its creative director Carlo D’Amore, you’ve gone back in time and you’re living another life. It’s the game of Clue in a New York long far gone. It’s CSI:New York after a Rocky Horror time warp. Choose whichever pop culture reference but you’re going to be a part of the making of this play, and you better enjoy it. It’s not like you have a choice in the matter.
Intense, wry, and filled with subtle humor, Ryan Case 1873 received a Drama Desk nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience and rave reviews from major theatre critics. Carlo was introduced to the New York Film Academy at an immersive acting workshop through a chance encounter with Department Chair Glenn Kalison of the acting program. His zeal for interactive theatre is definitely apparent. The play draws upon murder mysteries from New York’s past and essentially invites the audience to relive them in the streets of the city. It puts new meaning to that famous saying “All the world’s a stage…” At the school, too, he emphasizes improvisation and developed much of his material from teaching it to students. As a teacher, Carlo enjoys the classes with young people who are “at that age when they’re so eager to learn.” Carlo describes the excitement that students bring to a classroom. “They want to become good so much,” he said. It’s the desire to succeed. Ambition. Pure and unadulterated.
When we asked Carlo what kind of students he wants in his classroom, he gave a clear and thoughtful answer. “Commitment. To study. To be a part of a long haul. It’s the only way to get anywhere.” Carlo also described how there’s only the fortunate 0.5% who find success in the way that most students envision themselves obtaining. The only longevity is to continue the craft and persevere. Carlo recommends that aspiring thespians learn many different forms of acting and actors. Learn to fail. As he said, “The only guarantee is the love you have for the work.” Carlo describes a career path with a lot of negatives. The work itself, he says, is wonderful. “But it can be painful dealing with everything which surrounds it.”
We want to congratulate Carlo for his success and encourage others to take his advice to heart. No school can promise success without the passion and commitment to follow through. Be creative, be committed, and be connected to your fellow actors. With the play’s success, Carlo has expanded the interactive theatre series and is offering the spin-off version in the 1970′s called Lombardi Case 1975. If you’re in New York City, make sure to join them every weekend to “solve the case” and meet the NYFA instructor who masterminded these improv adventures in our great metropolis.
- “A particularly fine example … of outdoor theatre.” – New York Times
- “It’s like CSI: New York in the 1870′s.” – Time OUT NY
- “Well-crafted experience, full of intensity and subtle humor.” – Theatre Mania
- “A truly wonderful way to spend an evening.” – NY Theatre
- Click here to learn more about our acting program and get connected to us.
Photography Credit: Benjamin Norman for the New York Times.